Willy Wonka is a fictional character who appears in Roald Dahl's 1964 children's novel, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and its sequel, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. He is portrayed by the late and great Gene Wilder in the 1971 classic, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and Johnny Depp in 2005 Tim Burton retelling of the story.
Why He's Great
- He has overwhelmingly impressive skills as a chocolatier and running a factory.
- He has many tricks up his sleeves.
- He is great at doing somersaults, as shown in the the 1971 version.
- He’s one of the most adored, well-liked and memorable characters that Roald Dahl has ever created.
- He has many mind-blowing secret ingredients for the things he makes for his factory, plus he invented something he calls Television Chocolate (or Wonka-Vision) and even made a glass elevator that can fly.
- His likable and unpredictable behavior just makes him more of an interesting character.
- He has many hilarious moments throughout the movies and book, like in the 1971 version where Mike is about to get shrunk and Wonka casually says’s “Stop, don’t, come back.” or in the 2005 version where Wonka acts more goofy, childish and socially awkward.
- He seems to find joy in any kind of scenario, and takes fun in making things in his factory.
- In the 2005 version, it’s shown that he’s started becoming a professional with chocolates and candies at a very young age (around his pre-teenage years).
- Both Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp do amazing performances in their own different ways.
- The actors in the musical version also give a good performance as him, with some other wonderful songs like “It Must Be Believed to Be Seen” and “Strike That. Reverse It.”
- He’s shown to have generosity as he ended up giving his entire chocolate factory to Charlie Bucket and his poor, needy family in order to keep his legacy alive and so they can live a happier lifestyle.
- He also gave a tribe that he discovered called the Oompa-Loompas a safe place to live and work for him by paying them in their favorite food, which is cocoa beans.
- His 1971 counterpart spawned one of the most popular memes on the internet, the Condescending Wonka.
- The song in the 1971 film, The Candy Man, alone shows how admired Wonka’s sweets are and how amazing they can be.
- The way his entire chocolate factory works is very creative, jaw-dropping and beyond clever.
- His song, Pure Imagination, from the 1971 version is very unforgettable and is probably one of the best things about that movie.
- His chocolates and other inventive candies have shown to be very popular worldwide.
- He has many iconic and memorable lines of dialogue, such as:
- ”Strike that, reverse it.”
- "Everything in this room is eatable. Even I'm eatable. But that is called cannibalism, my dear children, and is in fact frowned upon in most societies."
- “I've tried it on, like, twenty Oompa-Loompas and each one ended up as a blueberry. It's just weird!"”
- "Wrong, sir! Wrong! Under section 37B of the contract signed by him, it states quite clearly that all offers shall become null and void if - and you can read it for yourself in this photostatic copy - "I, the undersigned, shall forfeit all rights, privileges, and licenses herein and herein contained," et cetera, et cetera... "Fax mentis, incendium gloria cultum," et cetera, et cetera... Memo bis punitor delicatum! It's all there! Black and white, clear as crystal! You stole Fizzy-Lifting Drinks! You bumped into the ceiling, which now has to be washed and sterilized, so you get... NOTHING!!! You lose! GOOD DAY, SIR!" (his most famous quote from the 1971 version)
- Gene Wilder said he’d accept the role of Willy Wonka on one condition, if he could be introduced with a fake limp and then suddenly do a somersault to give the audience a feeling of wonder as if he’s faking or not.